What do we mean, when we refer to Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation? In order to understand this condition, its symptoms, and treatment, read this article.
An irregular heart rhythm indicates that there is some discrepancy in the way the heart beats. This condition is an active indicator of an abnormal electric activity that is conducted in the superior chambers of the heart. The rhythm at which the heart beats becomes abnormal; as a result, causing the atria to beat faster than its stipulated speed. This uncoordinated manner in which the heart beats, displays an abnormal electric impulse. When the arrhythmia occurs at untimely intervals it is an indicator of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This inconsistency in the heart results in the ventricles filling up. The ventricles are the two chambers of the heart that are situated at the bottom and are responsible for pumping out blood into the system.
There are three types of atrial fibrillation, depending on the time period for which the AF sustains.
► If it is perpetually present, it is called a chronic or permanent atrial fibrillation.
► If the atrial fibrillation is present; however, the frequency of normal rhythm lasts for a brief period, it is referred to as persistent atrial fibrillation.
► If a normal heart rhythm persists, however, there are occasional episodes of the atrial fibrillation still persisting, then the individual is said to have a condition termed paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
The condition could be understood with utmost lucidity when we elucidate the symptoms of the said condition. Well, to make the condition all the more clear, there are some people who experience certain hallmark symptoms; whereas, there are some who show no signs. In fact, they are informed about the condition when they visit a medical practitioner for a physical examination. The symptoms that one may endure are as follows:
- Palpitation: a thumping, uncomfortable sensation in the heart
- Falling short of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or syncope
The most prominent amongst these symptoms is palpitations, or a rapid rate at which the heart beats. A normal heart rate is 60 to 70 heartbeats per minute. However, when the individual is suffering from persistent episodes of atrial fibrillation, the heartbeats may elevate up to as many as 175 times per minute. There are instances where the individual feels the heart thumping with force. This forceful sensation of the heart is called palpitation.
If arrhythmia is not treated, it can lead to two lethal conditions: heart strokes, and heart failure. Administering blood thinners, controlling ones weight, and regulating high blood pressure are some preventive measures used to avoid stroke and cardiac arrest.
● The treatment for this ailment involves practicing stress management. Majority of episodes occur when the individual is deeply stressed out. Palpitation is the primary symptom that aids one to understand the onset of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
● The second step toward treating this condition is to curb, and successively cease unhealthy habits; such as, smoking, consuming of alcohol, and caffeine.
● Hypertension should be controlled by taking appropriate medication, as there are certain treatments that encourage the episodes of atrial fibrillation. If the symptom of increased heart rate is still not controlled, medications, such as sotalol, ibutilide, and amiodarone.
● If the heart rate increases, one could control the rapid heartbeats with the intake of beta-blockers, digoxin, and calcium channel blockers. This will bring the heart rate touching normalcy with the heartbeats ranging between 80 to 90. Remember, that this is a remedy in order to control the pulse rate; however, the atrial fibrillation still needs correction.
● Catheter ablation is one procedure substituted for symptomatic treatment, when medication fail to control the condition. Catheters are slight, wire-like structures inserted through a vein into the heart. The predisposition of the catheter is to detect the discrepancy in the heart rhythm and transmit radio waves that banish the susceptible tissue.
● Electrocardioversion is a non-drug treatment that could be adopted by one who has an abnormal heart rhythm to endure. A controlled electric current is passed through the heart to transform an abnormal heart rhythm into a normal one.
● Grafting a pacemaker in the chest is another treatment option to solve the issue of the heartbeat steeplechase. It aids the heart to beat the way it ought to beat.
Thus, neglecting a condition that is related to the ‘muscle that beats’, is an idea not to be encouraged. Ensure that you garner an expert consult without delay.